The Italian Hall in Calumet, residents in the Copper Country know the story but the one they are most familiar with is about to change.
73 people died, mostly children on Christmas Eve 1913 when it is believed that someone yelled “Fire” causing a stampede down a narrow staircase.
Recently, the Michigan Historical Commission approved a revision of the memorial plaque located at the site.
Specifically…the claim that the doors to the hall opened inward…and thus contributed to the tragedy…will be removed.
Keweenaw National Historical Park Ranger Tom Baker supports the move but admits that not everyone will open to it.
Even with the approval for the new language…replacing this plaque will cost the park or the Village of Calumet around $3,300—an amount that neither the can spare at the moment. So the words written here are going to stay exactly as they are…for now.